When someone you know dies, there is a good chance that you’ll want to let the family know how much that life meant to you. Families of the deceased are often in turmoil and funerals are tumultuous events for them. To show respect without impinging upon this private time, it is customary to send flowers and plants as a memorial. However, the etiquette for these sympathetic gifts is not always well understood. Here are some guidelines.
Sending Flowers When You Cannot Attend The Funeral Or Memorial Services
Often, people who wish to attend the services surrounding someone’s death are unable to do so. In that case, it is always appropriate to send flowers or plants either for the service itself or in the weeks following the loss.
Flower arrangements sent directly to the funeral home or the location of the memorial service provides a tangible reminder to the family of how much their loved one was known and appreciated by the world at large. It is never a wrong choice to do so. Typically, these arrangements come with a gift card in which your sentiments can be placed.
However, if you don’t hear about the funeral in time and still wish to honor the deceased individual’s memory, it is appropriate to send a living plant or floral spray directly to the family in the weeks after the funeral. These gifts help to support the surviving family members in their time of grief and let them know that their beloved family member is still remembered in the community. In short, if you cannot attend the funeral, send a floral gift to the services or to the family afterward.
Group Floral Arrangements
Have you ever been asked to contribute to a funeral arrangement? Many people have and the practice makes it possible to send a larger arrangement when cash is pooled. In addition, larger gift cards are available in which all contributors’ names can be listed. When families view these large lists, they find comfort knowing that many people were touched in life by their loved one.
Flowers Or Greenery: Which Is More Appropriate?
It’s always a good idea to talk to the funeral home prior to sending flowers or plants. Both are fine, but the funeral home may have some restrictions. For example, most require that the family remove all live plants after the funeral is over.
Take the family into consideration prior to making your selection. If they are plant lovers, consider sending a live plant. Otherwise, a floral arrangement would be the best choice.
Sending Flowers To The Funeral Home
In most cases, your decision about whether or not to send flowers directly to the funeral home will be based on how close you were to the deceased and their family. Close relatives, workplace friends, and other such associates general send flowers directly to the funeral home or memorial service. In fact, many funeral homes place the arrangments around the casket according to the degree of closeness. For example, arrangments from the spouse, parents, children, or siblings will be placed nearest the casket.
On the other hand, smaller plants or baskets of flowers are often sent to the home during the weeks following the funeral by people who with more distant links. In many cases, these people do attend the funeral and mail a sympathy card but wish to do something more to comfort families in their time of grief. A large floral spray at the funeral itself would not be the right choice for them while these smaller gifts speak volumes.
Flowers At A Cremation
Cremations are becoming more common and the etiquette is not always clear since a memorial may take place many weeks after the death. However, flower arrangments do remain appropriate. Most experts suggest sending an arrangement that goes well with the selected urn.
If you have questions about the etiquette of sending flowers or plants to a funeral, two good resources are the funeral home itself or the florist shop. When making your selection, think about the family and look for one that will speak to them. In some cases, the family may have filled the funeral director in on their wishes.
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